We’re entering the home stretch of our journey of discovering emotionally healthy spirituality. This week we learned from Jesus as he talked with a lawyer about who should be considered a “neighbour” as we love God and our neighbours. (Luke 10.25-37)
To be able to have an extended definition of “neighbour” is a sign of “Growing into an Emotionally Mature Adult” (the sixth pathway).
Here are a couple more modern day examples to inspire you: one from Brian and one from Sarah.
And here’s something to work through as a family.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3.16-17
Notice that the list above doesn’t include comfort- which is the primary reason many of us turn to the Scriptures. Though the Holy Spirit comforts us through the word, we are invited to experience the many facets of the power of the Bible. Below are links to three different sets of questions or practices to help enrich your study of the Bible.
7 Arrows for Bible Reading
Three Principles to enrich your spirituality through the Bible’s images, stories, and ideas.
Key Questions for Interpreting the Bible Today
On Sunday, guest preacher and church member Peter Sinclair shared a personal example of a rather common occurrence: parents’ desire and tendency to shield their kids from the violent/mature stories in Scripture. It caused a little bit of discussion after, and even during, the service…
On the blog, we’ve linked to a couple of different pieces on reading the Bible with children. You may remember this one on reading the ‘Sad Psalms’ (Laments) with your kids.
We’ve also made you aware of children’s story book Bibles, such as the one talked about in “Kiddos and the Bible”— a reflection that makes some good points about the drawbacks about simplifying and cleaning up biblical stories too much.
But what do you think about these sorts of stories for Sunday morning worship? “Kiddos and the Bible” led to further reflection by preaching professor Scott: “More on Those R-Rated Texts.” He shares what might be the good news to be found in those mature storylines and why they might be ‘just right’ for Sunday morning.
Many people use the season of Lent to focus on one particular spiritual discipline. Maybe these three ideas and experiences can inspire you.
Join one family that journaled their gratitude for 40 days.
What might happen if you read the entire Bible in 40 days like Margaret? (The link includes a plan.)
Or, be challenged by Pope Francis to fast from something other than chocolate this season.
We continue our focus on Scripture reading for one more week.
As technology continues to develop, better and better resources are becoming available to the Christian community.
There’s nothing like a good study Bible. But what is really cool about the Faithlife Study Bible is the number of maps, diagrams, and pictures that help you understand the context of the biblical text– all just with a simple click of the mouse. Faithlife is giving away itself away through a software download, enabling you to have a study Bible on your Mac, PC, iPad or iPhone, Android, Kindle.
Another interactive Bible to check out is the Glo Bible. There are two platforms, one free, one at cost (that sometimes goes on sale). A unique feature of the Glo Bible is the number of photographs and ‘encyclopedia’ type articles that connect with places, people and things in the biblical narrative.
There’s another gift at our disposal as readers of God’s Word, though it is much less practiced– reading Scripture with people from the past. Here are two online & free resources to connect you with the writings of people from the Church across time: Monergism and CCEL. Both are searchable theological libraries full of writings from the ‘cloud of faithful witnesses.’
At Christ Community Church we’re beginning a short journey with the Bible’s song & prayerbook, the Psalms. On Sunday, Pastor Chelsey shared her prayer for the congregation through this series, that each of us would see how the Psalms are prayers that we can use today in a number of different ways: giving us words and images to pray, freeing us to express our true emotions or feelings, guiding us in theological reflection as we connect our lives with the words of the Psalms, helping us find ourselves in God’s big story and his people’s history, and serving as a launchpad for our own prayers.
To think more about what the Psalms, as God’s Word, have the power to do, read “Scripture Teaches us How to Speak.”
To read an example of the Psalms’ power today, learn from Micha and her son in “Lament and Faith and Childhood: Why my kid and I read the sad Psalms.”
To try your hand as a family, consider using these free downloadable and printable devotions from Robert and Laura Keeley.
On Sunday, February 9, Pastor Chelsey continued our series from Mark, “Who do you say I am?” with a message from Mark 6.45-52 (Jesus walks on water). You can hear that sermon on our current series website (or in the archives). One of the strong images in that passage is the disciples straining at the oars, trying very hard on their own to make it to the other side of the sea against an adverse wind. While they are straining, Jesus is aware of their struggles, as he spends the evening praying on a mountaintop.
Today, busyness and being in a hurry can be our way of ‘straining at the oars.’
Here’s a review of a book called Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book About a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung. You may find it worth your time!
Courtney offers a guide for busy moms to stay in the Word.
And Tim shares his reflections on why “Life is too short to be in a hurry.”
Photo by Sabrina M. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.
We like to start off the year with a post about Bible Reading Plans.
Tim Chester shares what his worship community is using, including a handy postcard size printout and some encouragement for the adventure.
And if you really want some options, Ligionier’s website offers a whole bunch of them. Options range from reading them in chronological order of events, order of when they were written, reading over two years instead of one, and much more.
Photo by Brett Jordan. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.
Don’t think you’re much of a reader? Doesn’t matter if it’s the Bible or any other book? Jared has some thoughts for you.
Have some books of the Bible that you avoid? Maybe Numbers is too boring, Judges too sad, Psalm 119 way too long… What does Leviticus really matter anyway? Jean shares how reading Leviticus changed her.
Do you read a passage, then twenty minutes later it’s gone? Or do the words and concepts seem to make no sense as to why they matter for you, today? Try these “10 questions for better Bible study.”
Want to help kids in understanding Scripture? Check out the ESV Grow! Bible.
This post is about Bible reading.
Photo by Imagens Evangelicas. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.
This short follow up to Sunday’s message by Pastor Chelsey from Luke 24.13-35, “The Best Kind of Heartburn,” reminds us who we are looking for and how to look for him in our modern post-Resurrection walks.
NT Wright encourages us to spend more time with Jesus by spending more time getting to know him in the Gospels.
This post is a follow up to a sermon preached by Rev. Chelsey Harmon at Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, BC on April 7, 2013. Because of technical issues, the sermon is not available online.